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SMC Cross Country

Belles look to bounce back at Eagle Invitational

| Wednesday, October 8, 2014

After a weekend off, the Belles will be back in action Friday when they travel to the Benedictine Eagle Invitational in Lisle, Illinois.

Benedictine University will host the invitational, which gives Saint Mary’s an opportunity to bounce back from a tough fifth-placed result at the MIAA Jamboree two weeks ago. In that race, the Belles finished just four points behind rival Alma. Belles coach Jacqueline Bauters said she is looking to build on a strong past few days of practice.

“Since [the jamboree] I think the team has been even more motivated to perform, as they were disappointed with their overall finish,” Bauters said. “They have put in some high-quality workouts and we are looking for dramatic improvements in times, due to training, change in course, etc.”

At the jamboree, which counts for one-third of the final conference standings, freshman Natalie Hawkes and sophomore Brittany Beeler led the Belles, finishing 18th and 20th with times of 24:43 and 24:57, respectively. The other runners that made up the Belles’ top five all finished amongst the top 30. Despite this effort, however, Alma edged the Belles by four points, even though its fifth runner did not finish among the top-40 racers. Bauters said she wants her team to be even stronger this weekend.

“I haven’t seen the full list of teams competing yet, or seen the course, we should have both [Thursday],” Bauters said. “However, I would like our ladies to be competitive and mentally tough on Friday.”

With crunch time approaching, Bauters said her team is focusing on being in the best position to succeed Friday.

“As all students know, it is getting towards crunch time,” Bauters said. “And there is also a lot of sickness going around, so we are trying to stay healthy and rested so we are as prepared as possible for a great race.”

The starting gun at the Benedictine Eagle Invitational will fire Friday at 4:00 p.m. in Lisle, Illinois.

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